Monday, January 22, 2018

greg jennings

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(photo used with permission)

Brian Heintz is no stranger to unforeseen challenges and obstacles in life. However, he is just as familiar with a determined, positive attitude. Maybe it’s the combination of these things that make Heintz such a well-suited and dedicated fan of the Minnesota Vikings.

Heintz grew up in Minnesota, a product of the East Side of St. Paul. He recalls his earliest memories involving the Vikings:

“My mom was always a big Vikings fan, and she got me into it,” he explained. “One of her many great parenting skills.”

In fact, the 29-year-old cannot remember a time when he wasn’t rooting for the team; at age five, he owned his first jersey—Tommy Kramer.

Years of memories surround the Vikings, but one stands out to Heintz as more special than the others: a year he attended the Vikings training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs in River Falls.

“As the players were loading onto team buses, Korey Stringer threw his glove out the window right at us. I got his glove and had Chris Walsh autograph it before they took off. RIP, Big K.”

Heintz experienced many great Vikings moments this season, as well. He attended eight games, and the Vikings won all but one of those contests. “Apparently, I should have gone to all of them,” he joked. Heintz went on to emphasize that the team’s final 7-8 record seemed pretty good, considering the challenges on offense.

“Leaving a few wins on the field is always tough,” he admitted, “but good for Teddy [Bridgewater] as far as situational football goes. Finally, a quarterback to invest in and get excited about that’s not [over the hill].”

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The Vikings jumped out to an early 14-0 lead and looked like they were well on their way to a promising upset win on the road.  Instead, the entire team seemed to stall out all at once, and the final three quarters allowed for 16 unanswered points from the Lions and few individual performances to hang our hat on.

The Lions overwhelmed a makeshift offensive line and rookie quarterback by mixing up the blitz packages.  Field goal misses ended three drives.  The defense couldn’t get a pass rush going.  And even the clock management was highly suspect.

Past Winners of this award:

WEEK ONE:  Cordarrelle Patterson

WEEK TWO: Harrison Smith

WEEK THREE:  Harrison Smith

WEEK FOUR: Teddy Bridgewater

WEEK FIVE:  Harrison Smith

WEEK SIX:  Linval Joseph

WEEK SEVEN: Everson Griffen

WEEK EIGHT:  Anthony Barr

WEEK NINE:  Everson Griffen

WEEK ELEVEN: Charles Johnson

WEEK TWELVE:  Xavier Rhodes

WEEK THIRTEEN:  Everson Griffen

WEEK FOURTEEN:  Teddy Bridgewater

I find it really difficult to nominate anyone for this award this week, so if you feel like I’ve overlooked someone, then by all means hit the “OTHER” button on the poll and write in your vote via the comments section.

MATT ASIATA:  Clearly not a game changing playmaker, the persistent use of Asiata can be quite frustrating, but he did his job fairly well throughout Sunday afternoon.  He rushed 11 times for a team leading 36 yards (3.3 yard average) and scored the first touchdown of the game.  More impressively, he hauled in all seven of his targeted passes and put up an extra 50 receiving yards (7.1 yard average).

CHARLES JOHNSON:  I’m starting to actually buy into the idea that this guy, especially with some offseason hands work, could be the real deal.  Johnson was once again the go-to guy for Bridgewater and caught five passes for 72 yards (team lead).

GREG JENNINGS:  Greg Jennings only caught three passes on Sunday, and only ended up with 43 yards, but one of those catches was a graceful touchdown and the other was a brilliant sideline performance that had to be reviewed in order for everyone involved to believe it actually happened.

GERALD HODGES:  Still playing in relief of Anthony Barr, Hodges is continuing his strong late-season showing.  HE led the Vikings in tackles on Sunday with nine and also led the team in defended passes with two.  He was caught out of position on a couple of occasions, but one could argue he was the most consistent defender this team had in Detroit.

XAVIER RHODES:  A guy like Calvin Johnson is eventually going to make plays, he just is.  Rhodes and the Vikings holding him to only four catches and 53 yards, however, could certainly constitute a moral victory of sorts.  In addition to keeping Johnson contained, Rhodes had three tackles, including a beautifully violent tackle for a loss.

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I am obsessed with fantasy football.

Seriously, it’s almost unhealthy. And the amount to which this game consumes my life seems to grow year after year after year: with each season I seem to listen to the fantasy podcasts a little sooner, generate my cheat sheets earlier, purchase increasing amounts of printed publications, and subscribe to more fantasy websites. Seriously, it’s bad. But I’m not the only one. It’s estimated that approximately 41.5 million people play fantasy sports. That’s roughly 30 million more than a decade ago. And fantasy sports continue to explode.

In recent years, daily fantasy sports have become more popular. If you’re not familiar with daily fantasy sports, it’s essentially the same thing as regular fantasy, but you are not tied to a team of players for an entire season. Every week, or every day if you’re playing multiple sports, you can assemble a new team and enter contests. This has been my new thing this year. Of course, this is in addition to regular fantasy – that’s not going anywhere.

Okay, so why the history / back story on Fantasy Sports? Fantasy Hub, a daily fantasy football start-up that uses their games as charitable fundraisers, has teamed up with our very own Greg Jennings to offer everyone a chance to play against the Vikings veteran wide receiver in fantasy football. Not only are there prizes at stake, but all proceeds are charitable and will go to The Greg Jennings Foundation which provides academic resources for our youth.

So here’s the deal: entering the contest is absolutely free, no strings attached (I just did it myself!). $2.00 is donated by Fantasy Hub to The Greg Jennings Foundation for each free entry submitted. Additional entries can be purchased (for which money will also be donated) allowing you to make more teams and increase your chances at winning.

Once you sign up, you create a team by purchasing players to add to your roster. You have a $50k “salary cap” which you can allocate to different players as you see fit. Once you fill your lineup, you’ll wait until Sunday (December 14th, to be exact) and yell at the television because Tom Brady can most certainly hear you, and will definitely consider your strongly worded recommendation to pass the ball more frequently to Rob Gronkowski.

You seriously have nothing to lose other than the couple of minutes it will take to sign up and assemble your team. What do you have to gain other than helping out a great cause, you ask? Prizes! Prizes like autographed footballs, jerseys, two tickets to the Vikings / Bears game on December 28th and a personal phone call from Greg Jennings himself.  (Being 100% realistic though, you don’t have a shot at the tickets… Those will be mine.)

So head on over to Fantasy Hub and sign up for this awesome event to let Greg Jennings and Fantasy Hub know we support their cause and that our readers are no slouches when it comes to fantasy football.

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If I had my way, each and every one of our writers would soon find themselves with high-paying writing jobs at large, reputable media outlets.  In my eyes, each of them deserve it.

Lindsey Young, whose work caught my eye well before Vikings Territory existed, certainly seems to be on the right path.

Lindsey recently wrote an article for KSTP Channel 5 that couldn’t have come at a better time, as the NFL world has been rocked by the Ray Rice scandal, and we could use a feel-good story or ten to remind us that it isn’t all bad.

Lindsey’s article is everything we’ve grown to expect from her:  Professional, insightful, and thorough.  She dives into the lives of three Minnesota Vikings and gives us some perspective as to how their profession impacts their family life.  The wives of Greg Jennings, Josh Robinson, and Zach Line were each featured.

Here is an excerpt of the article, but to read the rest you are going to have to CLICK HERE.

Football wives are much more than fans. Nicole Jennings explains how wives take the game so much more seriously than the rest of the world. In her mind, it is not about wins and losses or the number of receiving yards beside her husband’s name.

“My overall interest is in making sure he walks off that field the same way he walked on,” Nicole Jennings said. “In my eyes, nothing else matters.”

Of course, no one likes to see an injury, but most do not understand the family’s sideline perspective. NFL players hear more news every year regarding the risk of concussions, their side effects, and, most recently, the long-term consequences associated with an injury prevalent on the football field.


Well done, Lindsey, keep it up.